LeadSeek Blog

Finding the Right Customers and Repelling the Wrong Ones

Sales and marketing professionals focus a lot on having a great value prop.  It’s all about how you differentiate yourself from your competition.  Why is your company better?  Why should your prospects choose you over your competitors?  The first things you need to determine are the answers to these questions to make your company stick out and grab the attention of your prospect base.

While those are definitely important factors to consider, the focus sometimes tends to shift toward making your business stick out to everyone, rather than just making sure you accentuate those factors of your value prop that make you appealing to your niche. Those are the attention-getters that drive people to act, and sometimes everything that makes you different isn’t important to your target market. It’s definitely not all important to everyone.

Your prospects take action (call, submit forms, reply, etc.) because you have convinced them that you can provide them with a specific benefit that will be worth their time to consider. They won’t do that unless your message is directly applicable to problems that they face in their day to day responsibilities. You could think of it this way – it’s not what makes you different, it’s what makes your customers different./b>

Relevance is also important in relation to which customers you seek out. With the wealth of data and communication methods available to the modern-day sales person, prospects are easier to find and contact than ever before. There’s no need to waste your time trying to sell your offerings to a prospect who isn’t a fit or who won’t become a solid customer for your business. When you’re a good fit and you have happy, satisfied customers, not only will you be spending your time in the most productive way, word will get out about your terrific product or service.

Drop us a line and let’s talk about how to get more conversations with future customers that fit your niche.

How Wanting It Too Much Can Kill Your Sale

Sales is one of the most challenging professions out there. Picking up the phone and calling strangers can be intimidating to say the least. Add to that the pressure of quotas and the competitive job market, and suddenly you may find yourself stressed to the point that your nerves start to show through and are obvious to your prospects on the phone.

This is even more of a problem in the sales field than it is in any other. Prospects want to be confident in their purchase and they will feed off the attitude coming from the sales rep. They want to purchase products and services from people who are not only confident in their own offerings, but also not desperate for customers. Encountering a nervous sales rep will make prospects question whether this is the right decision and maybe even whether the rep is being deceitful. When people encounter confidence, they feel confident themselves, and ipso facto – confidence closes sales.

The mastery of confidence in sales situations, however, can be extremely tricky. Something as seemingly insignificant as a single word can change the impression you’re putting forward to your prospect. For example, when a prospect confirms their interest by requesting more information, for example, or agreeing to a phone call, answering with words like “Great!” may make you sound over-eager and immediately turn the prospect off.

When you find yourself about to react to a prospect’s response in a possibly over-eager way, try substituting a short pause, and then move the conversation along. We’re not saying you shouldn’t be polite and say thank you, but a little confidence goes a long way, especially in sales.

Drop us a line and let’s talk about how we can help you build that confidence.

The World’s Best Email Subject Lines

The subject line of your prospecting emails is your prospects’ first impression of your email and, by extension, you and your company. Of course, the body of the email is also important, but all the work you spend crafting the perfect message will be wasted if your prospects aren’t intrigued enough by the subject line to open the email.

That being said, tricking someone into opening your email is useless as well. There is no shortage of articles online that will tell you that if you just use certain words in your subject line, your open rates will skyrocket, but if your prospect opens the email and doesn’t find what they expected in the body, they aren’t going to take the action you’re requesting. Increased open rates that don’t translate to increased sales are not the goal either. We want the right people to receive our emails, open them, and take action to begin a conversation with us.

That may sound like a tall order, but it’s really a very easily achievable goal if you follow a common-sense strategy – just be straightforward. If your subject line is short, to the point, and descriptive of the content of your email, when it reaches the right interested person, they will open it, find what they expected, and very likely respond.

The take home message is this – writing email subject lines is important and not always easy, but it follows the same principles as any other aspect of sales. Be prepared, straightforward, helpful, and honest, and be wary of the blogosphere when it tells you anything is a magic bullet.

Knowing how to best navigate the world of email prospecting is our specialty. Drop us a line and let’s talk about how we can get your business up and running with an email prospecting program to keep your sales pipeline full.

Don’t Give Your Prospects the Wrong Idea

Let’s talk about some well-intentioned phrases that make you sound sleazy.

Every sales person’s goal is obviously to close each sale. But in order to do so they must master the art of not seeming like they’re trying to sell anything. Most sales people misunderstand that strategy, and sales in general has a bad reputation because of that.

The misunderstanding arises due to the “act like you’re not selling” aspect of the soft sell. You know you’re selling something, the prospect knows you’re selling something, but you’re not supposed to emphasize the “selling” aspect of your interaction with them. Many sales people fall into the trap of trying too hard to make it seem like they’re not selling anything, and therefore come across like they’re hiding something, and completely turn off the prospect altogether.

The best sales people are genuine and build trusting relationships with their customers. Take a page from their book and instead of just trying to sound genuine, just be genuine.

It’s as simple as that. You don’t have to try to hide the fact that you’re trying to get a sale. That’s something both parties in this situation are well aware of. Be honest and forthright, answer questions in a straightforward manner, and tell your prospect the truth.

Avoid phrases like “to be honest”, don’t make overly lofty promises, educate yourself about your prospect prior to the conversation, and just start an honest and straightforward conversation. In today’s sales environment the sales call is more like an interview. You’re not just blindly selling something, you’re having a conversation to find out if a business relationship will be beneficial for both sides.

Let’s talk about how to get you more beneficial conversations on a daily basis. Drop us a line any time.

Mastering the Transition from Lead to Prospect

Investments in complex marketing solutions are on the rise. Companies across all industries are spending more and more on software and consulting to make sure they’re staying ahead of the game on all the newest marketing trends. But does generating more marketing metrics like clicks and shares actually translate to more sales and revenue growth?

The unfortunate answer is no. In order to see the return on marketing investments, the products of those investments need to be able to convert into a solid pursuable opportunity for sales. While the marketing department brags about their click rates, the sales department is rolling their eyes wondering where the value is, deepening the disconnect between departments that any sales or marketing professional is already very familiar (and frustrated) with.

While email marketing is undoubtedly the most effective and preferred B2B communication strategy, the way this vital tool is utilized will determine whether the resulting leads are actionable.

A large part of the disconnect between the sales and marketing departments can be attributed to the fact that they’re focused on totally separate metrics. Marketing departments tend to monitor statistics like click and open rates and website traffic. While those metrics are valuable, a marketing campaign that scores high in these metrics and doesn’t translate to more solid prospects in the sales department’s pipeline is all for naught.

A large part of the disconnect between the sales and marketing departments can be attributed to the fact that they’re focused on totally separate metrics. Marketing departments tend to monitor statistics like click and open rates and website traffic. While those metrics are valuable, a marketing campaign that scores high in these metrics and doesn’t translate to more solid prospects in the sales department’s pipeline is all for naught.

That’s what we do. Drop us a line and let’s talk about how we can do it for you.

Avoiding Prospect Objections Before they Happen

One of the biggest challenges faced by sales people is to get your prospects, who are busy people, to see the value in working with you – a person/company that they may have never heard of. On your average cold call, once you have the prospect’s attention, the next step is to overcome the most common initial objections. An even better strategy, though, is to do everything you can to prevent objections from coming up in the first place.

If you encounter the objection that your prospect is too busy or doesn’t have a budget for your offering, the deeper implication is that they just don’t see the value of your product or service and therefore don’t see a reason to make time to hear about it. You can avoid this objection by beginning every communication with a buyer-centric value proposition. This process is all about the prospect, not you or your business, so make sure your prospect knows how you can solve a problem they’re experiencing or make their life easier right off the bat, and emphasize a respect for their time and that you won’t take much of it.

Next, make sure you don’t jump the gun and ask for the purchase right away. Your prospect is most likely not ready to discuss buying right now. This is an initial conversation, not a closing call, and you’ll lose them if you try to push the sale too soon. In your initial conversations, you’re not selling your product; you’re selling the next step in the sales process.

Of course, you will still encounter objections from your prospects. Some, like “we don’t have a budget for this” or “just send me some information” may be due to lack of knowledge about your offering. Those can often be overcome by respectfully questioning the prospect to uncover the reason at the heart of the objection and further explaining your value. But it’s still always important to keep in mind that there does come a time when no means no. A very large part of being a successful sales person lies in knowing when to move on.

We incorporate these principles into our email messaging to set you and your team up for success in every initial call. Drop us a line and let’s talk about how we can help you avoid frustration.

Basic Rules for Great Follow-up Emails

Using an effective follow-up email is a key part of a great email prospecting campaign. Often, more responses actually come from the follow-up email than from the original. But why are they so effective? What elements of a successful follow-up email are essential to ensuring those increases in response rates?

Many of the factors that make up a good prospecting email apply to both your “original” and “follow-up” emails. Things like having a clear and descriptive subject line, short and straightforward message, and clearly stated objective or “ask” apply to any type of sales email. All that’s needed is to adapt those rules to this specific type of email.

For example, a good practice is to leave the subject line of your original email intact, while adding something that indicates you are following up on the email with that subject line (i.e. “Follow up: Subject line of my original email”).

The real advantage of a good follow-up email is that it will reiterate to your prospect that you are a real person, actually interested in speaking with them, and reminds them of your original email. Your prospects are busy just like you are, so if they intended to respond and the day got away from them, the follow-up email will ensure that you don’t fall through the cracks. At the very least, a follow-up email reminds the prospect to get back to you, even if it’s to say now isn’t a good time, which after all, lets you know to focus your efforts elsewhere.

Keep your follow-up emails simple, short, and straightforward and they’ll do their job.

At LeadSeek, we are experts at writing effective emails. Drop us a line to talk about how we can craft compelling custom images to bring more interested prospects straight to your inbox.

The Ultimate Follow-up Strategy

No matter what tools you use to bring new leads in to your business, it all comes down to emails and phone calls. No matter how many great leads you’re receiving, if you miss the mark with your follow-up strategy, you will miss the mark with your quota.

But what is the best way to set yourself up for success? Thankfully, there is a robust body of research on this subject to provide us with some best practices backed up by solid data.

First, remember the importance of first impressions and speed of service. When a prospect “raises their hand” by replying to a communication, leaving a message, or requesting a contact, following up directly with that person as soon as possible will greatly increase your chances of continuing that conversation further. Not only will you make a great initial impression on that prospect, by following up within a few minutes with an inbound lead, you can ensure that you are reaching your prospect when your offering and company is still forefront in their mind.

While timely follow-up is essential, overzealous follow-up can be detrimental. The goal is to be persistent without crossing the line into annoying. As much as we may want to at times, you can’t really brow beat someone into become a customer – at least not a happy customer. The best you can do as a sales person is to make sure you are optimally presented as a good option so that when your prospect is ready, they can make the choice themselves to pursue doing business with your company. If you follow up too often and try to force the sale or conversation, you will end up losing some contacts that otherwise would have been ideal prospects for you. Just try to keep in mind how frequent of contact you would find professional if you were on the other end of the exchange.

None of these strategies should be anything new to sales people, and yet these simple steps to success are actually practiced by a shockingly small number of sales people. To be successful in sales we just need to remember to focus on strategies that expand our reach to enough people to allow us to focus on prospects that are interested on their own, rather than focusing on strategies to convince uninterested prospects that they need to buy.

LeadSeek can help you expand your reach and allow you to focus on interested prospects. Spend more time closing and less time selling. Drop us a line and let’s talk about how.

Simple Steps to a Customer-Winning Sales Email

Sales people are always looking for the perfect prospecting email. Hours are spent agonizing over subject lines, length, copy, ideas, and bullet points. Then when anyone in the office has success with a certain email, you can guarantee every other sales person will give it a try, thinking there must be some magical element that mysteriously gains customers. But really, writing effective sales emails is simple and straight-forward. There is no magic bullet. It’s the way all of these elements come together.

The first thing to remember, and the first challenge to overcome, is to limit the length of your email. Your prospects will not read through a lengthy email about you, especially if you’re introducing yourself for the first time, regardless of how well it is written. Most people don’t even like to read lengthy emails from colleagues, let alone strangers asking to take up some of their valuable time. Eliminate any sentences you could call unnecessary or too general and try to get your email down to the bare essentials of your message.

Along the same lines of keeping the message short, make sure that your message is consistent and straight-forward throughout. It’s tempting to try to fit everything that’s good about your company/product into your message to your prospects. After all, you don’t want to risk losing their interest because they didn’t see the one aspect that will solve all their problems. But the larger risk is losing the prospect with too many value propositions. You are far more likely to find prospects that are interested in one of the positive aspects of your business than you are to find prospects that are willing to read a lengthy email detailing each of the benefits of your services.

Also remember to keep the focus of your email on the prospect and their needs. No one likes to hear someone talk about themselves. People are immediately turned off by a proposition that is focused on the product or company, rather than how it can solve the prospect’s problems or make their lives easier. Especially in the B2B world, prospects are motivated to buy because of something causing them pain, not because they are blown away by a great product or service.

Finally, don’t try to get fancy. With all the buzz around finding the perfect elements of an email that will make prospects immediately buy, sales people can easily get carried away with overly fancy or elaborate email templates, which make your emails seem impersonal and immediately give the feel of mass marketing. If your email looks like an ad, your prospect will assume it’s an ad, even if you have included personalization like their first name. Making your email stand out is even easier if you keep your message straightforward and direct, and emphasize to the prospect that you are reaching out to them personally.

Keep these simple guidelines in mind when writing your next email and see if your response rates improve. We bet they will.

For help crafting and distributing your next great prospecting email, drop us a line.

How to make your sales cycle run like a well-oiled machine

Everyone wants to make more money.  Doing it faster would be great too.  The internet is crammed with different fool-proof ideas on how to do just that.  Software, outsourcing, coaching, and just general process hacks that will make you a better sales person, make you more money, and make your life easier.  How to sort through the noise and find how to actually make your sales cycle more productive and predictable?

There are some simple steps you can take. First, take a look at your typical day. What non-selling tasks are you spending the most time on? If there are tasks that are eating up time you could be spending closing deals like researching prospects, cold-calling, or sending out introductory emails, it might be time to consider automating those tasks or assigning a dedicated person to handle them.

Even determining which tasks are “selling” tasks has changed in recent years. A typical day for a sales person just a few years ago involved hammering out upwards of 80 phone calls a day to cold prospects, getting hung up on frequently and quite frankly more often making people mad than gaining any headway. Cold-calling has gone by the wayside as an effective strategy for gaining viable prospects.

In the current sales environment, every sales person needs a strategy to bring in prospects that are already interested and open to a conversation with you or your sales team. LeadSeek specializes in just that. We begin with a database of all of your target prospects and narrow that list down to those who are in a position to seriously consider your company’s offerings and interested in exploring what you can provide.

Drop us a line and let’s talk about exactly what that looks like for your organization.